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Legislature Passes Measure Aimed at "Defunding" Planned Parenthood

Last week, the Missouri Legislature voted to “defund” Planned Parenthood by blocking patients covered by Medicaid and the state Women’s Health Services Program from accessing vital preventive care at Planned Parenthood, including birth control, cancer screenings, and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment.

Planned Parenthood is an integral part of Missouri’s health care safety net. By blocking patients from seeking care at Planned Parenthood, the Legislature is forcing thousands of Missourians into an overburdened system that will not be able to readily absorb them. This means many patients will be left without access to the health care they need. Planned Parenthood Advocates will continue to fight to ensure that Planned Parenthood’s doors stay open and all patients can access care, no matter what.

Associated Press: Missouri GOP lawmakers try to block Planned Parenthood money

Recap: May 10th Lobby Day and Handmaids Tale Action

On Thursday, May 10 Planned Parenthood supporters traveled to Jefferson City for the final lobby day of the year. In addition to speaking with lawmakers, a dozen participants protested a measure aimed at “defunding” Planned Parenthood by dressing as handmaids from The Handmaid’s Tale, a story of a dystopian society in which women are silenced and forced to give birth.

Carrying signs saying, “Gilead took my credit card, now Missouri is taking my Medicaid card,” and “The Handmaid’s Tale is not an instruction manual,” the handmaids processed throughout the Capitol. They visited the House and Senate chambers, as well as the offices of lawmakers who voted to “defund” Planned Parenthood, and the governor and lieutenant governor.

MoLeg Update: Proactive Bills Still Have a Chance

While the “defunding” measures are undoubtedly a step backward, there are several proactive bills that still have a chance to pass before session ends at 6:00 p.m. on Friday:

  • Increasing Access to Birth Control: HB 1499 increases access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), the most effective form of birth control.

  • Improving Sex Education: HB 2234 adds education on consent, sexual harassment, and sexual assault to Missouri schools’ voluntary sex education programs.

  • Protecting Pregnant People in Prisons and Jails: SB 803 & HB 1627 protect pregnant, laboring, and postpartum people who are incarcerated in Missouri prisons and jails by restricting the use of shackles.

  • Expanding Access to Postpartum Health Care: HB 2280 increases access to health care for new moms in treatment for substance use disorder. Currently, new moms lose their eligibility for health care through MO HealthNet, Missouri’s Medicaid program, 60 days after birth. House Bill 2280 would extend this period to one year.

  • Protecting Children from Sex Trafficking and Abuse: HB 1630 establishes 17 as the universal floor for marriage in Missouri, with judicial approval required for anyone marrying while aged 15 or 16.

Stand With Planned Parenthood in Your Community

Missouri Poor People's Campaign

The Missouri Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has begun 40 days of action. There are nearly two thousand Missourians poised to take direct action & uplift their voices against systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and the war economy. Planned Parenthood Advocates is a coalition member of this campaign — join fellow advocates and support this important work!

Volunteer & Engagement Opportunities

Join the fight for access to health care on the state and federal levels! Join Planned Parenthood Advocates’ organizers and volunteers to crowd-canvass, make calls, enter data, and connect with your community. You can participate in the phone banks in person or remotely!

Find Events Near You

Check Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s national calendar to find events planned in your community!

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